Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News

Walter Albritton

May 14, 2006


Movie The DaVinci Code opening Friday in theaters worldwide


          Millions have read the bestselling book. Friday the movie by the same title, the DaVinci Code, will open simultaneously in theaters worldwide. Movie goers in 70 nations will no doubt flock to see the film that everybody is talking about.

          The movie was produced by Ron Howard and stars Tom Hanks. It may well be the blockbuster movie of the year. Though it is a fictional story, it raises serious questions about the deity of Christ and the reliability of the Bible. These fallacies are presented in such a convincing manner that many unbelievers may accept them as true. So Christian leaders believe these lies must be exposed and rebuked.

          Pastors in many different denominations are preaching about the book and the movie, urging their constituents to arm themselves with the truth. The author, Dean Brown, says his novel is a book of fiction but he cleverly labels as “facts” several untruths.

          Brown’s distortion of the truth has earned him the wrath of many Christian pastors. One preacher said, “What he says about Jesus is blasphemous; I felt like burning the book!” Instead he is preaching a series of sermons on the book, and urging his people to equip themselves with the truth so they can determine fact from fiction.

          Pastors are aware that by addressing the book, they may influence even more people to buy the book and see the movie. Nonetheless, most of them feel the issues of the book are too important not to be addressed by the church.

          Surveys indicate that many people are accepting the book as truth. One out of three Americans believes the absurd claims of the book. One man said, “This book clinches it for me.  I see now that the church has been covering up the truth for centuries. I will never set foot in another church!”

          Many churches are offering small group studies of the book. Excellent guides have been prepared for group study. The focus in groups will be:

1)Can the Bible be trusted? 2) Are the Gospels reliable? 3) Was Jesus really married to Mary Magdalene? 4) What does history really teach? 5) Are women valued in Christianity?

Many helpful materials have been designed for group study, preaching, and promotion.  One good source is      Well known authors Lee Strobel and Josh McDowell have written books and curriculum to help the church respond intelligently to the movie.

While many pastors are reluctant to attack the book, they feel compelled to inform people about the “lies” the book portrays as truth. The book’s plot is built around Jesus having married Mary Magdalene even though there is not a shred of historical evidence that Jesus ever married. Likewise there is no evidence that Jesus ever had children though Brown wants you to believe he did. 

     Some pastors see the movie as a gift to the church. One says, “The movie will have people talking about Jesus all over the world. This gives us an unprecedented opportunity to share our faith in Christ. We dare not be unprepared to use this chance to engage unbelievers in dialogue about our Lord!”

     Professor Craig Detweiller of Biola University calls the movie the “ultimate cinematic discussion starter.” With this in mind, some pastors are inviting Christians to be prepared to use “water cooler moments” for faith sharing.

     We who are older must not simply dismiss the movie as “more Hollywood garbage.” The popularity of the movie may prompt one of our grandchildren to ask us about Jesus. If so, they deserve the most informed answer we can offer. We should be ready to give an intelligent, caring response to any inquiring minds. 

     I have read the book. It is an exciting murder mystery that kept my interest to the last page. However, the book saddens and even angers me. The author says some despicable things about someone I love very much. He has maligned the very core of my beloved biblical faith.

     However, I am not alarmed.  God is a genius at using an evil thing for a good purpose. I am confident he will use this book and movie to advance the gospel and bring many unbelievers to faith. Like many others, I plan to be listening at the water cooler just in case someone wants to know what I think about Jesus. + + + +